Friday, March 16, 2007

Immigration and parasites, other diseases

Our open-border immigration policy is the gift that just keeps on giving. Chagas (Trypanosoma cruzi), a parasitic insect that feeds on vital internals like the heart, nervous system, and GI tract, is coming to a blood bank near you:
A little-known but potentially deadly parasite from Latin America has become one of the latest threats to the blood and organ supplies in the United States, especially in Los Angeles, where many donors have traveled to affected countries, health officials say. ...

The parasite, which is generally passed to humans from a blood-sucking insect that looks like a striped cockroach, can feed over years on tissues of the heart and gastrointestinal tract. After decades, tissues can be eroded so much that the organs fail.

A callous cynic might use the latter paragraph as part of an analogy that uses a certain country in place of the infected person.

Los Angeles is ground zero for the parasite in the US. The county's rate of infection for donors has increased by 260% in the last decade, to 1 out of every 3,800. But blood donations are disproportionately made by white males, so the rate of infection among LA's general population, 36.2% of whom are foreign-born, is higher. While virtually non-existent in the native US population, Latin America is a different story, with 1 in 25 people being infected. With rates of contamination as high as 53%, it is ubiquitous in some blood banks in Central and South America.

The FDA has approved a test for widespread screening, and the Red Cross is already using it, although other blood banks blood banks in the Southwest haven't yet done so.

Unlike cysticercosis, another item of Latin American import, Chagas is not combated with basic hygienic practices. The former is brought into the US by immigrants from communities that allow pigs to eat human feces. The population then eats the swine, contracts the infectious tapeworm, and transmits it through contact with food (the spreading of which can largely be prevented by regular hand-washing and laundering of clothes). Filthy as the transmission of cysticercosis is, Chagas is worse because it's not as easily preventable, and even the strongest anti-protozoal drugs rarely eliminate the parasite completely.

Of course, ending illegal immigration and instituting a merit immigration system which includes the applicants health and physical fitness as part of a total desirability score is the best method of preventing its spread in the US:
"The number of [immigrant] Latinos in Southern California, Texas and other parts of the United States are growing, but especially in L.A., a large proportion of organ donors are Latino," Nowicki said. "They're basically bringing with them the disease prevalence in the area they used to live." (Reporter's brackets)
Gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis, tuberculosis, cysticercosis, and Chagas are all maladies disproportionately brought into the US by immigrants. Reducing their prevalence can be realized by building a barrier along the US-Mexico border, handing down tough punitions to employers who knowingly higher illegal immigrants (the Basic Pilot Program makes verification easy for employers), and through criminal deportations and attrition.

Those arguing for unfettered open borders are essentially arguing for the onset of these third-world diseases in the US. Destitute migrants can receive better healthcare here than in their countries of origin. It's yet another way in which open borders give rise to wealth transfers from net taxpaying natives to impoverished third-world migrants.


savage said...

What is the justification for not medically screening entrants? The great wall of China kept foreigners out and Israel can keep out fanatical jihadists, even Saudi Arabia is constructing a barrier. Why then can the most prosperous nation on earth not be able to defend from a third-world migration across difficult terrain? Political will is the answer. Political will, then, or lack thereof, is also the reason for bringing in vectors of disease. Our politicians are hostile to the citizenry they are supposed to represent.

JSBolton said...

Yes, that is the inference one would have to draw; or, that and something else.
Recalling that the powerful and influential here are thus fouling their own nest, and that of their descendants, the hypothesis may suggest itself, that parasite manipulation is likely involved to some extent.
Do the rich and powerful have access to better blood than others, when they are doing cosmetic and other elective surgery considerably more than the poor? The rich will have some poorer grandchildren, won't they? In this sense they do participate in the common environment which they are degrading through support of mass immigration of the unclean.
Insofar as they do not, one might suppose parasite manipulation to be a candidate explanation,superior to others.
If an infectious agent depends for its transmission, and its existence entirely upon there being openness to it, and it could infect and get you to say one and only one simple
expression, would not this have to be:
command others to be open, or tell them, or get them to be more open?
Here we see the policy mimics exactly that which the infectious agent would have us do.
Since the rich and powerful do not gain long-term by fouling the nest of their grandchildren, there seems to be some plausibility to this other explanation which considers the interest of the infectious agents.

JSBolton said...

The above should be:
insofar as they do [participate in the common environment]
not 'do not'
blood products are a good test of this, since they make a sort of common pool, which is difficult for even the most insouciant rich and influential to imagine will never affect them. Elites are generally much older than average; at the top percentile and its fractions, almost everyone is a candidate for surgery within very few years.
Therefore that which commands openness to infectious agents like the above, is not likely to be wholly the interest of the rich and power-greedy. Enter the parasite, stage left.